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Raven (yes, really), a pagan, homeschooling mother of two -- one teen, one tot -- shares her adventures in parenting from a pagan perspective. Watch her juggle work, education, parenting, cooking, gardening, and . . . how many balls are in the air now? Sometimes they fall, and sometimes she learns from her mistakes. You can, too.

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The End and the Beginning

As in most recent years, I didn't make a resolution.  No pronouncement about some goals I would accomplish (and then fail to pursue after the first week of January), no public announcements at all until I was ready to share them once measurable results could be seen.  This doesn't mean I didn't have goals, but rather than hoist a banner resolution high above my reach, I set myself to action the moment a goal formed in my mind.

There were four main goals I accomplished this year:

1. Small as it seemed, every day through the first two months of 2016, whenever I received email from a source I no longer wished to read (e.g. a newsletter or blog I signed up for, a group I joined, a sweepstakes I entered), I immediately found the unsubscribe button at the bottom and clicked it.  It significantly reduced the number of emails I receive (previously over 400 legitimate emails daily), eliminated the  time spent scanning and deleting them, and improved my mood each morning because I hadn't been wasting my time on them and only need address emails worth taking the time to read and reply to.  Decluttering my email led to decluttering my closets, then my books and CDs, and soon other areas of our home, freeing my mind and reducing stress about the thousands of little things I need to keep track of.

2. One of my biggest achievements is how serious I became about my writing as a career this year.  I set myself a schedule (based on moon cycles) for writing, editing, submitting to contests, and self-publishing.  I sent in several poems, a novelette, a collection of poetry, and a novel to various publishers, and in August, completed three manuscripts, one of which will be published in March 2017.  

Though I'm loathe to see myself in video, I launched a Patreon and made two promotional videos. In November, I wrote a new flash fiction story every day: 30 stories in 30 days.  I even signed up to be a panelist at the upcoming Norwescon 40.  While I didn't stick strictly to my schedule, due to illness and a need to replenish my creative well, I still achieved far more than in years past, all the while staying in tune with the natural elliptical dance between Gaia and Luna.

3. Despite a lack of confidence and a lot of anxiety, I followed my passion for teaching literature and advertised my reading selections class for middle and high school level homeschool students.  Now I have a small group of wonderful young people who inspire me with their interpretations of the short readings I share with them.  It's gone so well, one of my student's parents asked me to teach creative writing as well.  I begin in the new year.

4.  Though this goal is always in the back of my mind, I feel some aspects of my parenting skills have improved in the past year.  Spending the last few months almost exclusively alone with my son has certainly helped us fall into a rhythm together separate from the one shared when the whole family is home.  We've made new friends together and gone on adventures.  I've become more patient and more open.  I've grown better about routines; in caring for him, I'm taking better care of myself. 


Although the last year has brought the world great tragedies and unsettled us with the impending future of an uncertain socio-political landscape, 2016 has also brought personal successes, obstacles big enough for a challenge, and still achievable. This Monkey year has pushed me to take stock of what matters, determine my game plan, stake my borders, and prepare myself and this family for what the new year brings. 

Resolutions, fair though they may be, work better without announcements and fanfare.  The methods employed through 2016 have proven more effective than the race to the finish line attitude most New Years resolutions imply.  I'm keeping my goals quiet, working a little at a time, and always reminding myself of what's most important.  

I continue to tend the fires of my hearth and care for the hearts in my home, but my focus is much diverted from this forum, and I can no longer adequately maintain this blog.  Thus, I must bid you all farewell.

Thank you, 2016, SageWoman, and readers. Good bye and Happy New Year.  May each of you find joy; may you always have enough.  Blessed be.


If you wish to continue engaging with my work, you may find it at the following sites:

Satyr's Garden: the Official Site of Raven J. Demers

Willow & Birch: Homeschooling Blog

Never's Remedy on Patreon



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Raven lives in a forest with her two homeschooled children, partner, and several demanding cats. She enjoys performing, cooks a mean burger, and is obsessed with farming, but has yet to adopt a goat. Her publications are listed at


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